Upcycle: DIY Terrazzo Table

I am always looking for ways to breathe new life into pieces of secondhand furniture and when I salvaged a dusty old coffee table from my local tip shop a few months ago, I knew it had potential. The shape was beautiful and the height was perfect, so I promptly brought it home. My original plan was to make a DIY Crazy Paved Table but then I got distracted with this project, and then this, and then this, and then this. This coffee table, which I could tell had been pre-loved time and time again because of the multiple layers of varnish and paint on it, was always in the back of my mind. And then the idea struck - terrazzo. And here we are! Read on to find out how you can make your very own DIY Terrazzo Table. This is one of the most fun and easiest projects I've ever done! 

 

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Before 

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The Idea

If you've been following along on Instagram, then you'll know I am slowly working on make 4 chubby concrete legs for my DIY Glass Table project. Admittedly it is taking a very long time because making concrete is a totally new medium to me and there are so many new materials I need to factor in - concrete, water, pigments, rocks, sealer - just to make these concrete legs. I recently ordered a box of Vinyl Decorate Chips (in Saddle Tan) to add to the concrete mixture to create a terrazzo effect within the concrete. And then it got me thinking, what else could I make with these chips?

I then went down a rabbit hole on the internet discovering terrazzo chips made from a material called jesmonite, which is not easy to source at the moment because making terrazzo chips using jesmonite has been going viral on Instagram and TikTok for a little while. So then I got thinking... Instead of buying all the things - jesmonite, eco resin, pigments - and waiting weeks for all the materials to arrive I wondered if I could make my own terrazzo chips simply using paint. I've seen people use the Vinyl Decorative Chips to sprinkle on top of furniture to make a terrazzo finish, but you have to order these from Bunnings and they can take a couple of weeks to arrive. I don't know about you but when I have an idea, I don't want to have to wait weeks to get it done. Additionally, they only have a couple of colour options (both of which I wasn't totally in love with).

I knew I wanted my tip shop table to have a terrazzo finish. I knew that the jesmonite terrazzo chips would be too lumpy to place on a table (it's better when used in moulds to create objects such as coasters. I knew I didn't want to have to wait for the Vinyl Decorative Chips and be locked into a set colour combination. Then I had an idea. I've been painting a few DIY furniture projects lately and the concept of peeling paint struck me. What if I used peeled dried paint to make terrazzo chips? Well, I decided to put my crazy idea to the test. And I was so surprised when it actually worked!

 

 

How To Make Terrazzo Chips - using only paint!

Making terrazzo chips using only paint is so easy and fun! To make terrazzo chips, you only need 3 things - a sheet of plastic or baking paper, water based paint and a spatula. The technique is very simple. Start by preparing your surface by cutting a piece of flat, uncreased sheet of plastic or a piece of baking paper. Pour the paint on top and spread evenly and thinly across the plastic or baking sheet using a spatula. When the paint has dried completely, simply peel it off and then tear it up using your fingers to make the terrazzo chips. They look organic and seriously beautiful! You can make the terrazzo chips as big or as small as you like, and you can use any colour paint too! For my project, I chose paint I already had at home and that suited our interior style - Leather by Resin (brown), Finch by Resin (green), Sour Dough by Resin (beige) and black.

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How To Make a DIY Terrazzo Table 

Let's get making! Now that you know where my idea came from and how to make the terrazzo chips using only paint, let's make a DIY Terrazzo Table.

 

Materials

 

How To

1. Depending on how many colours of paint you want to use for your terrazzo chips, prepare the same amount of plastic sheets or pieces of baking paper. 

2. Pour each paint colour onto one plastic sheet or piece of baking paper. Spread it around with the spatula to create an even, thin layer of paint. Set aside to dry for 24 to 48 hours. 

3. While the paint is drying, prepare the coffee table by sanding or stripping any existing paint or varnish with the electric sander or paint stripper. If you are using paint stripper for the first time, refer to the instructions on the tin.

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4. Painting at least two coats of white paint all over the coffee table. I painted four coats as the stain in the raw timber was colouring the first two coats of white paint a pale yellow in some sections. 

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5. When the paint is dry, peel it off the plastic sheet or baking paper and organically tear it up using your fingers into small, medium or large pieces, or a mix of all three sizes. Place each colour into a seperate bowl or mix them together prior to application.

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6. When the table is painted white and dried, apply a thin layer of wood varnish to the surface - I found it was best to do small sections at a time as the varnish dries quickly. Sprinkle and/or strategically place the terrazzo paint chips on top. Apply another coat of wood varnish all over the surface as this will seal the terrazzo paint chips. Set aside to dry.

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    Ta daaaa! 

    What I love most about this technique is that you can easily apply it to any piece of furniture - a bedside table, a larger table, a side table, a bed head, even chairs! And you only need a handful of materials that won't cost a fortune. So good! 

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    A little note from me

    Thank you so much for taking the time to read through my latest DIY project - the DIY Terrazzo Table - using terrazzo chips made from only paint! I hope you enjoyed it and feel inspired to make your own piece of DIY Terrazzo furniture. know a lot of you are doing it tough in lockdown, so I hope this project brings you a little comfort and joy to your day. Also, if you love terrazzo make sure you check our my DIY Terrazzo Coasters! I made these ages ago and they are one of my most popular projects to date.

    If you loved this DIY please stay in touch with me on Instagram and Pinterest where I share lots of DIY projects every week. If you have any questions about this project, or if you just want to say hello, I'd love to hear from you. Write to me at jaharn@smorkitchen.com or send me a DM over on Instagram. Happy DIY'ing!